That interesting music man Lenny LaCour was one of Milwaukee’s key producers and he leased records out, such as the excellent Gene Graham, to bigger concerns as well as issuing them on his own labels like Magic Touch. One of the best artists he worked with was Marvell Love, who was billed as Marvelle & The Blue Match (or “Blue Mats”) on his earlier releases.
His first 45 is now a pretty rare one since the dancers have gone for the uptempo “Mellow Man” and the funk guys for the dancer flip sung by Sam Brantley. The second release doesn’t do much for me either sadly but the third one certainly does. The bouncy “Don’t End Up Like Me” is a fine piece of raucous R & B and the flip A Man Ain’t Nothing Until A Woman Takes His Name is a very strong ballad. Marvell’s gruff insistent vocals really hit home and although the tenor sax man sounds a little bit lonely on his own the whole thing has a primitive energy that I like a lot.
Sadly none of Love’s solo 45s are anything like as good as that, despite the excellent Harvey Scales’ name appearing on a couple of tracks. The synths overwhelm “No-Tel-Motel” unfortunately, and the disco beat of “Don’t Break That Rule” isn’t to my taste at all. The best of them is the gentle “Baby I Love You” with some defiantly out of tune horns – and the flip the mid paced “Gotta Have Love” isn’t bad either but the spark just isn’t there and Love’s vocal is considerably throttled back from his 60s work – more’s the pity.
As MARVELLE & THE BLUE MATS
The dance called the motion / Mellow man ~ DYNAMIC SOUND 2001 (1966)
As MARVELLE & THE BLUE MATch
Soul lover / A whole lot of lovin’ ~ MAGIC TOUCH 2004 / EAST WEST 2060 (1967)
Don’t end up like me / A man ain’t nothing until a woman takes his name ~ MAGIC TOUCH 2076 (1968)
As MARVELL LOVE
Baby I love you / Gotta have love ~ SHERI 1003 (1975)
Gotta have love / Don’t break that rule ~ NEW WORLD 104 (1977)
I love you / I do love you ~ NEW WORLD 35546 (1979)
No-tel-motel / Inst ~ NEW WORLD 8906 (1988)